Monday, May 14, 2007

Chooks in the garden.

I was going to write about worm-sex, but I don't want to get myself wedged into a blogging niche that might seem unsavory. It was really cool though. Saturday night we had a long sustained rain....not too heavy, but just right. I went out with a flashlight to lock the chickens in for the night and there were worms everywhere! In the garden, there were worms extending over a foot from their holes and then meeting up with other worms similarly stretched. And they were touching and where they were touching was all gooey and gross and it was happening ALL OVER MY GARDEN! I totally watched for like 20 minutes.

Click here to read more about the howzits and whatzits of earthworm reproduction.

Saturday I went to the Landis Valley Museum for the Herb and Garden Faire. A lot of my favorite vendors weren't there, but I still came home with some very cool plants. I bought Borage, several tomatoes (Olivette, Roughwood {a stable cross of Yellow Brandywine and San Marzano}, and Black Ruffles {a cross of Black Krim and Zapotec Pink Pleated}), a few peppers (Hinkelhatz {or chicken heart} pepper, a Relleno, and Amish pimiento) to go with my already burgeoning collection of tomatoes and peppers. I always buy way too many cause there are so many interesting varieties. I can't help myself.

But the thing I was most excited about buying at the Herb and Garden Faire was........RAMPS! I've never seen them being sold before! I've never even tried one but I snatched one up. It is apparently an Appalachian thing, as last year when I went to West Virginia, I saw many signs for Ramp Festivals. At first I thought it had something to do with the Interstate, but a ramp is actually a sort of onion, sort of garlic type thing that is wildly popular in the southern mountain states and mostly harvested from the wild. Allium tricoccum is really a wild leek that grows in wooded areas of higher elevations (supposedly 3,000 ft). I'm not at a high elevation, but I have a wooded area with a low pH (something else they like) and am willing to give it a try. How fun!

And in other news, I should have listened to Liz in the comments about the asparagus catastrophe. Asparagus does have deep roots. And I should have waited to see how much of what my husband tilled would come back before running and planting more asparagus. Because about 75% of what was tilled came back. But only after I planted 25 new crowns. So now I have 60 asparagus plants. And I am the only one in this house that eats it. That is a lot of asparagus.


Blogger cyndy said...

Great Chooks!

So glad to hear the asparagus survived!

Your tomatoes sound yummy (esp. that Roughwood)...and I would love to see a photo of the Ramp- sounds very interesting!

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Kelly said...

Oooh, the worms! that's so incredible.

I love Ramps and have got to find some to grow... they're amazing on the grill, drizzled with olive oil, balsamic, sea salt and cracked pepper.

asparagus! it survived. My new planting is just starting to push up. I put in 30 crowns and have about a dozen spears here and there... two more years. Then feast!

9:18 PM  
Blogger kris said...

Sounds like some yummy stuff you found this weekend. I had never heard of Ramps - and some of the tomatoes were new to me too. Isn't this fun!

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Liz said...

Hooray! I'm so glad for your asparagus. Now it just looks like you'll have to start your farmstand earlier and sell asparagus. Easy solution. ;)

Oh, I also read something in the Fedco catalog that you don't need to wait until year three to harvest. You can pick 2 weeks in the second growing season, 4 weeks in the third, and a full season after that.

I don't think ramps grow up here... I'd love to try them.

6:59 AM  
Blogger El said...

You are right: you're beginning to be renown for your reproductive stories (K-Y comes to mind).

Here's hoping the hubby comes around to asparagus. How can he not? You can dull it down in risotto if he is really offended.

Ramps grow in MN, so maybe they're not limited to mountainous areas. I am sure they grow here in MI, too, but nobody's selling them.

7:22 AM  
Blogger Faith said...

I'm interested to hear about how your ramps turn out. I always love learning about native plants and how to utilize them.

Dangit, I missed the Herb and Garden Faire! I could have gone, I wasn't doing anything on Saturday. I'll have to keep an eye out for it next year.

8:13 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

I will post a picture of my little ramp soon. I have such high expectations of this little plant. And nowhere to buy another one if I kill it. Faith, you were so close to Landis Valley. Def. mark it on the calendar for next year. And go there anytime cause even without the fair it is an interesting place to visit.

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Pennie said...

You sure are seeing a lot of animal sex lately!! don't even need to buy those can just step outside your door. =)

Your job sounds really interesting and I'm so happy your aspargus is coming back. If you need someone to help you eat it let me know...I'm the only one who eats it in our house too and mine isn't coming up yet.

5:47 PM  
Blogger MilkMaid said...

A worm love in?

6:08 PM  
Blogger Faith said...

I know, it's been one of those places that's in our own back yard but we've never visited. We have no excuse, just laziness, I guess. We're too busy running around the Governor Dick trail and going to Knoebels.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

I thought of you last night... the worms in my yard were EVERYWHERE, and the ducks were going crazy trying to eat every last one. I've never seen such huge worms. It was fascinating!

10:13 AM  
Blogger meresy_g said...

yeah, thank god it was dark when I saw the worms because my chickens would have run themselves ragged chasing down worms.

1:00 PM  
Blogger woof nanny said...

I'm not that hip on asparagus, but Tyler Florence has a fun way to prepare it on the food network,,FOOD_9936_35269,00.html?rsrc=search


the earthworm event sounds so cool
I love bugs

3:44 PM  
Blogger Petunia's Gardener said...

Yeah, soon you'll have baby worms! Last summer, my husband was staring at the slobbered up garage door. There was a odd shiny trail from the window down. He wondered someone threw an egg at it. Slug sex was the answer. He didn't want to know more.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

My husband loved to tell stories about how, as a kid, they would get out of school by eating ramps. He grew up in West Virginia and said eating them would make you smell to "high heaven". Bad enough to be sent home from school anyways. lol Good luck with your ramp.

1:29 PM  

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